Fox News tops basic cable as scandal haunts CNN and MSNBC struggles in advertiser-coveted demo

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Fox News Channel has outdrawn MSNBC and struggling CNN combined for 16-straight weeks among both total and primetime viewers. 

Fox News was the most-watched network among all of basic cable from November 29 through December 5, averaging 1.5 million viewers while second-place Hallmark Channel settled for an average audience of 849,000. FNC has now been No. 1 in basic cable among total day viewers for 42-straight weeks. 

MSNBC averaged 704,000 viewers and scandal-plagued CNN averaged 524,000 as the liberal networks failed to outdraw Fox News combined. 

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Fox News Channel has outdrawn MSNBC and struggling CNN combined for 16-straight weeks among both total and primetime viewers. 

Fox News Channel has outdrawn MSNBC and struggling CNN combined for 16-straight weeks among both total and primetime viewers. 
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Fox News also finished No. 1 during the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m. ET, averaging 2.5 million viewers to hold off NFL-heavy ESPN’s average audience of 2.1 million. Hallmark, MSNBC and Freeform rounded out the top five while CNN’s struggling primetime lineup averaged a dismal 676,000 viewers to finish 15th, behind cable offerings such as Food network, History, Paramount, TLC and HGTV. 

The week began with Chris Cuomo hosting CNN’s 9 p.m. hour on Monday, but he was suspended by Tuesday and terminated from the network by Saturday after documents revealed his role in his brother’s sexual misconduct scandal was greater than previously thought. CNN’s primetime lineup struggled for viewers even when the “Cuomo Prime Time” namesake was arguably the channel’s biggest star, and now only Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon remain until a permanent replacement for Cuomo is named. CNN’s 9p.m. ET hour averaged only 745,000 viewers since Cuomo was vanished. 

“Hannity” nearly quadrupled CNN’s viewership during the 9 p.m. hour with an average audience of 2.9 million as Fox News delivered 71 of the top 100 cable telecasts. 

"Hannity" nearly quadrupled CNN’s viewership during the 9 p.m. hour with an average audience of 2.9 million.

“Hannity” nearly quadrupled CNN’s viewership during the 9 p.m. hour with an average audience of 2.9 million.

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Fox News also crushed cable news competition among the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54. FNC averaged 245,000 viewers in the crucial category, while CNN settled for 111,000 and MSNBC attracted only 80,000 average viewers in the key demo. 

MSNBC’s struggles in the category resulted in 25 basic cable options outdrawing the progressive news outlets, including BET, Lifetime, E!, Discovery, Comedy Central, TV Land and MTV. 

"Tucker Carlson Tonight" averaged 3.5 million viewers to finish as the No. 1 show in cable news.

“Tucker Carlson Tonight” averaged 3.5 million viewers to finish as the No. 1 show in cable news.
(Fox news)

During primetime, Fox News averaged 375,000 demo viewers compared to 151,000 for CNN and only 140,000 for MSNBC. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“Tucker Carlson Tonight” averaged 3.5 million viewers to finish as the No. 1 show in cable news, while “The Five” averaged 3.4 million to finish second despite airing at 5 p.m. ET when primetime programs historically attract larger audiences. 

“Watters’ World” averaged 1.9 million viewers to finish as the most-watched cable news program of the weekend. Fox News averaged 14 of the top 15 cable news shows among total viewers and 15 of the top 16 cable news shows in the demo.

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